Table Manners it is part of that line of titles that can put us in difficulty with situations or tasks that, in real life, would be simply spontaneous. This time Digital Curve does not place us in the uncomfortable situation in which operate a patient in red code or take on the role of a budding chef, but we are given the opportunity to show off ours good table manners during a candlelit dinner.
Before proceeding with the analysis of the title, however, we would like to point out that the build played during the review is not the same that will be made available to final buyers. The developers took pains to announce that it will be possible to download one patch on day one which will be able to solve several bugs and bring improvements to gameplay. Installing the update will result in reset of the partner list, which is why we recommend downloading before the first launch.
Matter of good manners
The game puts us in the shoes of a bachelor, or rather the hand of a bachelor, whose mission is basically to tow. Considering that we are in 2020, the developers will have thought: "What is the fastest way to secure an appointment nowadays?" Well, an application dedicated to meetings. Without making too much publicity, the screen that acts as the hub of Table Manners puts us in front of a tablet from which we can, by scrolling left and right, choose our partners and have conversations with them. Once the girl or the boy has been chosen (yes, the game gives the possibility to choose the sexual orientation of our hand) we can therefore start the game by choosing from one of the available levels. The gameplay of the title is therefore very simple conceptually: ours partner makes requests which will be fulfilled within the maximum time that is provided to us. Lighting candles, ordering dishes, filling glasses and taking our better half are just some examples of what needs to be addressed during the around 3 hours necessary to complete the title. You can have meals in five thematic locations; each of them has peculiarities in the type of dishes served or in the mechanics of physics applied inside the restaurant. For example, it is easy to imagine that inside a Sushi bar needs to make sure the dishes you want by grabbing them from above ones sliding belt. The variants that the player must face are therefore fun and challenging. In order to unlock the locations, however, you need to obtain certain scores during our appointments: to obtain a high score you must probably indulge all the whims that are placed on us, trying to be as orderly and polite as possible. Thinking of moving forward by setting the tablecloths on fire is therefore technically impossible. In short, you have to stick to the code of good manners.
The gameplay studied by the developers allows us to face the title using essentially four buttons. The axis of movement of the mouse is used to move our hand with respect to the horizontal plane, instead using the W and S buttons on the keyboard we can get up and down, while holding down the right mouse button, and simultaneously moving it to the right or left, the hand rotates. Finally, to grab an object, just go to it and press the left mouse button. Once you have assimilated these four notions, and after having become generally familiar with the sensitivity and functioning of the coupling of objects, the game it is downhill. To complicate things, however, we think peculiarities of physics and the gameplay, as mentioned before, characteristic of each location. Is the table a block of ice? The bottles that are too long on it will freeze. Does the restaurant offer a convivial grill on which to cook vegetables yourself? Better not get your hands on it. Do you dine on a boat? It would be a shame if there was rough sea. In short, these variants make the game fun. Becoming familiar with the controls is therefore not complicated to perform the movements or actions that the player has in mind, if it were not for some critical issues probably due to very trivial bugs, or more simply for the lack of intuitiveness in certain actions. Two classic examples are hamburgers and ketchup. As for the first, we find ourselves several times in the situation in which a sandwich is brought to the table which must then be placed on the plate of our consort. Here: grabbing a hamburger in full was a huge undertaking for myself, as each component of the sandwich turns out to be untied from the others, and the hand consequently gets the input to grab a single element instead of the whole sandwich. Even worse in the case of ketchup ... damn ketchup. After several hours spent on the title and after completing it, I still haven't understood how ketchup works: the player is called to pour it on the dish, but once the bottle is rotated nothing happens. Shaking in any direction is useless. Shake the bottle either. The ketchup arbitrarily comes out on the basis of a criterion that is not yet clear to me. This many times could, alas, lead to gameover. These are only examples, but I assure you that they are not the only ones. Very serious for a game based on moving and interacting with objects.
What the hell are you wearing!?
In Table Manners they are present five locations, plus an unlockable bonus at the end of the game, each of which has available four levels. These levels offer increasing difficulty within the single restaurant, so the first level of the last location is simpler than the fourth for the first restaurant. Although I found this choice very schematic and not very original, I admit that I appreciated the difficulty curve, especially after completing the schemes available at the first restaurant. Entering the Sushi Bar having to deal with essential and undemanding requests provides a good detachment, almost relaxing, compared to the growing anxiety accumulated up to that moment. Unfortunately the title does not have nothing else to offer at the moment. The levels, even if addressed, remain identical in the objectives to be achieved, there is none additional mode upon completion of the work and in principle it feels little stimulated to return to already finished scoreboards; not even to improve the score. The only variants are the partners with which to have the appointment and the cosmetic rewards obtained. In fact, each character offers the player some elements of personalization of the hand, such as tattoos, bracelets or nails, upon reaching certain scores. However, the partners deserve a mention: all too similar between them as they are generated (probably) in a procedural way using just a handful of models between faces and hair. This means that beyond interest in rewards, one companion is the other. And this is where the biggest flaw lies Table Manners: this is not a Dating Sim Phisics Based, but a physics simulator based on the excuse of dating. There is no functionality or mechanics based on managing the various relationships. There is only one skinny chat in which we only have three answer type options (see neutral, positive and negative) and a very poor selection of dialogues; so poor that it can involve repeating lines after a few seconds of reading them. Does a girl decide not to be satisfied with your performances (at the table is meant)? No problem, just choose another one and start the appointment. I never happened to be rejected and after a few minutes I had already lost interest in the choice of the person to take out for dinner. In short, a disaster considering that it could have been the mechanics capable of differentiating the title from any other physics-based game. Even more considering that Table Manners is not developed to be used by using a Virtual Reality Viewer.
My loving hand ...
Technically the title does not excel at nothing, but still does its duty. The models, especially of the dishes, are made of satisfactory manner, as well as the locations, which in some cases even know how to surprise for colors and liveliness. The sound sector is not particularly inspired or recognizable, but overall it could be evaluate sufficient. Where the game sins once again is in the interface. THE menus are poor of options and graphically reminiscent too much of an amateur production (amateur, not independent), very similar to what you could easily find in any low-level video game dedicated to smartphones and tablets. In addition, some may afflict you problems due to the size of the icons: if you are asked to season a dish, the seasoning in question is shown with a small icon placed under the dedicated bar. Playing in fullHD on a 24-inch monitor, many times I had difficulty distinguishing, for example, salt from pepper. In the most chaotic moments of the game it happens to run into some sporadic slowdown, but nothing compromising or systematic Table Manners, net of the shortcomings from the purely point of view, pass me the term, managerial, it is however a title that can amuse if you are a passionate user of the genre. Unfortunately unfortunate for one unripe content management. Twenty levels are in fact far too few to justify their purchase, so we advise you to wait if interested and wait for news on any additional ways that developers could, and they should, add within their work.